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White House chief of staff John Kelly: 'I'm not quitting today'

Brian Bennett, Tribune Washington Bureau on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON -- White House chief of staff John F. Kelly, in a rare and wide-ranging news conference Thursday, told reporters he felt secure and satisfied in his job and expressed frustration with media reports to the contrary.

"I'm not quitting today," Kelly said. "I don't believe -- and I just talked to the president -- I don't think I'm being fired."

The chief of staff also said he was not aware beforehand of President Donald Trump's frequent and often provocative posts on Twitter, but that they don't make his life managing the White House more difficult.

A number of news reports have described Kelly as having difficulty managing Trump's unpredictable nature and habit of undermining his own policy messages with distracting outbursts.

"I was not brought to this job to control anything," Kelly said, but rather to manage the flow of information to the president "so he can make the best decisions."

White House chief of staff is the "hardest" and "most important" job he's ever had, Kelly said, but it's "not the best job" he's ever held. That, he said, was being an enlisted Marine sergeant infantryman.

Trump, however, told reporters at the White House on Saturday that Kelly "loves it more than anything he's ever done." And, Trump said, Kelly is doing "an incredible job."

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